Denby Park Charrette results

November 4, 2015

The City of Norfolk Planning Department staff has put together the results from the visioning exercise completed on October 19, 2015 at the Denby Park Charrette.

Staff will followup with the participants in the near future with suggested approaches to address issues raised as well as recommendations for changes to the comprehensive plan, PlaNorfolk2030.

The visioning exercise results are here (PDF).


Come plan the future of Wards Corner

October 8, 2015
Denby Park properties to be purchased by City of Norfolk. YELLOW highlighted properties are to be purchased in 2014. RED highlighted properties were purchased in 2013. BLUE highlighted properties were purchased in 2011.

Denby Park properties purchased by the City of Norfolk. YELLOW highlighted properties were purchased in 2014. RED highlighted properties were purchased in 2013. BLUE highlighted properties were purchased in 2011.

A Charrette is planned for October 19, 2015 at Wesley Memorial Methodist Church, 288 E. Little Creek Road, from 5:30 – 8pm. The entire Greater Wards Community is invited.

The Charrette is designed to get input from the community on the future of Denby Park.

The City of Norfolk, with significant input from Wards Corner residents, has made it a priority over the last 5 years to decrease the substandard housing in the “Texas Streets” portions of Denby Park. During that time the City has spent more than 6 million dollars purchasing and demolishing 193 of those substandard housing units. This has resulted in a drop in crime both in Denby Park and in the Wards Corner business district.

Now that the City is such a large landowner in Denby Park, they are looking for citizen input on what the future should hold for that portion of our City.

Come to the meeting and help decide what should be built in Denby Park – a park? residential? commercial? mixed use?

Home invasion in Denby Park

June 9, 2015

299661While the City has made great strides in Denby Park by purchasing some of the substandard housing and tearing it down, there continues to be a criminal element plaguing that neighborhood.  This is why Wards Corner Now and the Wards Corner Task Force continue to support the implementation of the Greater Wards Corner Comprehensive Plan which calls for the acquisition and demolition of the undesirable housing and the replacement thereof with a mixed use development, making use of the Uptown Norfolk concept.

According to the Virginian-Pilot, on June 9, 2015:

Two men burst into a home this morning in the 300 block of E. Little Creek Road and stole a man’s vehicle and other items.

The home invasion was reported at 4 a.m., a police news release says.

The resident suffered minor injuries and was taken to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.

The man’s vehicle is described as a 2002 gray Chevrolet Trail Blazer with Ohio license plates.

No description was given of the two robbers.

Police are asking anyone with information to call the Robbery Division at 664-7032, or Norfolk Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP

Successes in Denby Park

May 22, 2015

The Wards Corner community has pressured the City of Norfolk to clean up the crime infested “Texas Streets” area of Denby Park since the completion of the Wards Corner Comprehensive plan in 2004.

Since 2011 the City has purchased 193 substandard crime inducing apartment units and demolished them.  As a result, crime has dropped demonstrably.

Louis Eisenberg has provided pictures showing the successes in Denby Park and Monticello Village in the form of new residential construction, below.  It’s hard to believe that any of the below investment and construction would be feasible without the reduction in crime.  This is a huge success that should be celebrated in Wards Corner.

image001 image002 image003 image004

Largest purchase of Denby Park properties completed by City of Norfolk

October 10, 2014
Denby Park properties to be purchased by City of Norfolk. YELLOW highlighted properties are to be purchased in 2014.  RED highlighted properties were purchased in 2013. BLUE highlighted properties were purchased in 2011.

Denby Park properties to be purchased by City of Norfolk. YELLOW highlighted properties are to be purchased in 2014. RED highlighted properties were purchased in 2013. BLUE highlighted properties were purchased in 2011.

The Texas streets portion of Denby Park has, in the past, been referred to as the criminal cancer of Wards Corner.  The City of Norfolk is completing steps to finalize its third purchase of property in that area in an attempt to rid it of the substandard housing that attracts the criminal element.

The most recent purchase includes 88 units on San Antonio Blvd.  The addresses are: 352 San Antonio, 366 San Antonio, 369 San Antonio, 375 San Antonio, 7816, 7820, 7824 San Antonion, and 7812 San Antonio.

The city’s Department of Neighborhood Development is inviting the public to attend a community celebration on October 21, 2014 at 4:00 PM at 352 San Antonio Boulevard to celebrate the purchase and eventual demolition of the 88 additional units in Denby Park.

Expect brief remarks made by elected officials and members of the community.  Police/Fire-Rescue will be on hand cooking and serving food and refreshments so bring your appetite.


Clean the Bay Day at Northside Park

May 11, 2014

northsideIn partnership with the Oakdale Farms/Denby Park Civic League

Who:  Everyone – all ages welcome
When:  Saturday, June 7, 2014
Time:  9:00 a.m.–Noon
Where: Northside Park – 8401 Tidewater Dr, Norfolk
We will meet at Picnic Shelter #2 near the parking lot
Things to bring: bug spray, and sunscreen

We will provide the bags, gloves and other items

After Party will be at Noon at the #2 Picnic Shelter

We will be having Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, Chips and Drinks and a Cake to celebrate.

Parent Permission forms, Video/Picture Release forms & Certificates of Participation will be provided

Call 404-8072 or by e-mail for more information.

PDF Flyer

Oakdale Farms / Denby Park Civic League: “Take out the Trash”

May 10, 2014

The following is the text of a Flyer from Oakdale Farms / Denby Park Civic League:

Join the Oakdale Farms / Denby Park Civic League to “Take out the Trash”

The week of May 26 to May 30, the city of NORFOLK is inviting you to “TAKE THE TRASH OUT”

What this means is: that stack of newspapers piling up in the corner of the house, or that stack of broken wood in the garage, or even that broken couch that you need to get rid, well now you can! Your civic league has made it possible for you to get rid of it all. Now is your chance. All you have to do is start putting your stuff on the curb on Monday May 26th.  All debris will be removed on our normal trash day, May 30th.  

-Please keep the city employees safe and do not put trash under overhead wires-

*No need to call for a special pick up**   Please recycle

**No penalty for having your trash on the curb before Thursday**

Take this opportunity to clean up your neighborhood

call 871-3782 for assistance or to volunteer  

Taskforce moving to bimonthly meetings per City Council

October 10, 2013

City Council has decided that Task Force meetings across the city will move to either quarterly or a every-other-month schedule.  The Wards Corner Task Force will move to every-other-month with the next meeting to be held on December 12, 2013.  Other notes from today’s Task Force meeting are below.  Thanks as always to Karen Mayne for providing the notes. 


Greater Wards Corner Task Force Meeting – October 10, 2013

The meeting was led by Council member Andy Protogyrou.  Council members Terry Whibley and Barclay Winn were also present.

 Talbot Hall Update

 The non-profit Talbot Hall Foundation conducted a survey and determined that it is unlikely the Foundation can raise $4.25 million dollars to purchase the Talbot Hall property from the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia.  The Foundation is working with the Diocese and Harvey Lindsay Commercial Real Estate to achieve residential development on part of the property while still preserving the historical and environmental values of the manor house and property.

 Police Report

 The Police Department has given out tickets for parking on the grass along the 100 to 600 blocks of West Little Creek Road.  The police have also asked the City’s codes compliance office to look into whether property owners have permits for the driveways.

 Department of Development Updates

 BP Gas Station Update – Nothing new to report.  The property is currently under contract and the developer is seeking an end user (not a gas station) for a 4000 square foot retail center.

 Wards Corner Shopping Center – The parking lot lights are manually turned off around 9 p.m.  Dollar Tree remains open until 10 p.m.  The lack of lighting is creating a safety concern for customers and employees.  Property owners will place the lights at the Wards Corner Shopping Center on an automatic timer.  Canopy lights were replaced.

 It was requested that the City prune the crepe myrtle trees along the section of Virginian Avenue between Louisiana and Little Creek.  Now that the new sidewalks in this area are complete, limbing up the overgrown trees will allow safe passage of pedestrians and the disabled.

 Denby Park Demolition

 The City acquired 308, 317, 319, 321 and 325 East Little Creek Road; 328, 334 and 338 Fort Worth in support of the Greater Wards Corner Comprehensive Plan.  Demolition is scheduled to begin on October 21st with a timeline of 30-60 days.

 Public Art Update – The Request for Proposals for the $150,000 public art for Wards Corner is out.  Proposals are due byOctober 31.


 Norfolk Christian – City Council has approved the closure of the portion of Seekel Street surrounded by Norfolk Christian Upper School.

 Norfolk Collegiate – The issue of parking on both sides of Suburban Parkway in the vicinity of the school was discussed.  Officer Odell Davis said he is recommending the removal of about five parking spaces at the western end of Suburban Parkway on both sides of the street in order to improve turn radiuses for buses and improve safety of pedestrians and vehicles.


 The issue of replacing the hanging traffic lights at East Little Creek Road in front of the Taco Bell with mast arm poles was discussed.  There are only two hanging traffic lights along Little Creek Road between Hampton Boulevard and Shore Drive, this light being one of them.  The Task Force has discussed this for at least six years as part of the beautification of the Wards Corner area.  A request was made that this be considered for future capital improvement funds.  No resolution on the matter since funding would be expensive and take away from the funds being used to acquire the blighted properties in Denby Park.  It was pointed out that a mast arm was not installed at this light due to long-term plans for redevelopment of the surrounding area.

 Another concern is the utility poles that have been on the ground in the area of Tucker House at Armfield and W. Little Creek. 

 New Business

 City Council has decided that the various community task force meetings around the City should happen either bi-monthly or quarterly in order to alleviate workload on City staff.  Interim communications between the face to face meetings would continue among the representatives on these task forces via e-mail.  The representatives of the Greater Wards Corner Task Force indicated they would like to meet bi-monthly.  The next meeting will be December 12, 2013.


Attend the W. C. Taskforce meeting on 10/10/2013

October 9, 2013

A few of the agenda items that we expect to discuss at the Taskforce meeting on October 10, 2013 are below.  The public, as always, is welcome to the meeting held at the Fitness and Wellness Center on Newport Ave at 8:30am.

The BP Gas Station at the corner of Granby and Little Creek:   The property is currently under contract and the developer is seeking an end user (not a gas station).

Parking lot lights at  the Wards Corner Shopping Center:  The owners were contacted about the lights being manually turned off around 9 p.m. Dollar Tree remains open until 10 p.m. The lack of lighting has been creating a safety concern for customers and employees.  The property owners have agreed to place the lights at the Wards Corner Shopping Center on an automatic timer.  Canopy lights were replaced.

City purchased properties in Denby Park:  The City acquired 308, 317, 319, 321 and 325 East Little Creek Road; 328, 334 and 338 Fort Worth in support of the Greater Wards Corner Comprehensive Plan.  Demolition is scheduled to begin on October 21st with a timeline of 30-60 days.

Denby Park blight – photo series by Tricia Duncan

May 14, 2013

See Tricia’s full article, with photos, on her website, A little Sugar a little Spice.

Where do you want your children to grow up? Somewhere safe? Somewhere that they can ride their bikes to their friends house? Somewhere you can send them out to play and come home when the street lights come on? Where you don’t have to worry about your general safety 24/7?
Not here…. Maybe you haven’t heard of Denby Park or Wards Corner. This is our neighborhood. Where we live, work and play. In fear. The city for the last few years has promised to remove the run down section 8 apartments that even the cops hate going into. Vast mazes of blight and trash create a hiding place for crime.
They tore down 7. They are tearing down 7 more. However due to budget cut’s we are loosing the war on crime in our wonderful little spot in Norfolk. Or what was once wonderful and could be again.
When I took these photos I did not venture far in. It was EARLY in the morning and I was armed with a tazer. You heard right. You don’t go wandering around this area. It was a risk I took with my camera equipment because it  needs to be seen. People need to see what the confines of this area are like. I plan to do more as I go. I plan to take shots of the beauty in our little neighborhood also.
This photo series will be special too me. I hope it shows that even in the less then wanted areas of the city, beauty can reside. I also wish to show WHY the city should finish their promise to the residents of Ward’s Corner and the surrounding neighborhoods.
Read the rest of Tricia’s article, with photos, on her website, A little Sugar a little Spice.

5 shot in attempted robbery in “Texas streets” area of Denby Park

April 15, 2013

The Virginian-Pilot is reporting:

Seven people were shot late Saturday in two separate incidents that happened about 20 minutes and 2 miles apart.

None of the injuries was life-threatening, police said.

The first incident occurred about 11:30 p.m., in the 7800 block of San Antonio Blvd. Five people were taken to a hospital, including two men who have been charged.

The two are suspects in an attempted home robbery that apparently led to the shooting, a news release said. The three other shooting victims appear to have been the robbery’s targets.

Trenton J. Ore, 25, and Joven K. Covington, 23, both of Norfolk, face charges including eight counts of use of a firearm, four counts of robbery and three counts of malicious wounding.

The second shooting happened about 11:50 p.m. in the 1300 block of nearby Johns­tons Road.

Detectives said two men had been in a verbal altercation with another man during a family gathering. The two men followed the third man after he left a home on Johnstons Road, but the third man later shot the other two, police said. A bullet also struck an occupied vehicle, but nobody inside was injured.

Darryl Lee Speller, 22, of Norfolk faces charges including two counts each of malicious wounding, shooting into an occupied vehicle and use of a firearm. He is related to the two shooting victims, police said.

City takes second bite out of crime in Denby Park

January 29, 2013
Denby Park properties to be purchased by City of Norfolk.  RED highlighted properties are to be purchased in 2013.  BLUE highlighted properties were purchased in 2011.

Denby Park properties to be purchased by City of Norfolk. RED highlighted properties are to be purchased in 2013. BLUE highlighted properties were purchased in 2011.

City Council will be voting on January 29, 2013 on the second round of derelict property purchases in the Denby Park neighborhood.  The addresses of the properties to be purchases are:  308 E. Little Creek Road, 317 E. Little Creek Road, 319 E. Little Creek Road, 325 E. Little Creek Road, 328 Fort Worth Ave, 334 Fort Worth Ave, and 338 Fort Worth Ave.

These 2013 purchases are in addition to the properties on San Antonio Boulevard which were purchased in 2011 and eventually torn down.

These purchases are in accordance with the 2004 Wards Corner Comprehensive plan.

The full press release is below:

NORFOLK –The City of Norfolk has reached agreements to purchase seven properties located in the 300 blocks of Fort Worth Avenue and East Little Creek Road in the Denby Park section of the city.  These acquisitions further the Greater Wards Corner Neighborhood Plan and the city’s ongoing efforts to foster safe and healthy neighborhoods which will sustain future generations.

The agreements include the acquisition of 37 apartments on seven properties for $1.45 million.  City Council will vote on the purchase and sale agreements during the Council session scheduled for Tuesday, January 29, 2013.

The property owners are working with their tenants to relocate them.  Once the properties are vacant, the city will conduct an environmental impact study then the apartments will be demolished.

In August 2011, the City of Norfolk purchased 68 apartment units on seven properties in the 300 block of San Antonio Boulevard for $2.68 million.  Those apartments were demolished in April 2012.   The city is working with the community to determine the best use for the open space.

“Norfolk poised to buy parcels of land” – Virginian-Pilot headline

January 16, 2013

Jill Nolin at the Virginian-Pilot wrote an article that was published today, January 16, 2013, indicating that the City of Norfolk is preparing to purchase blighted properties in Wards Corner and Ocean View.

The city is poised to spend millions in the coming weeks as it buys the former Travelers Inn in Ocean View and more property in the Denby Park area of Wards Corner as part of plans to revitalize struggling neighborhoods.

City officials were tight-lipped about the proposed Wards Corner deals, but Martin Thomas Jr., vice president of the Wards Corner Civic League and a member of the city’s planning commission, said residents have been pushing the city to focus on the 300 block of East Little Creek Road and the so-called “Texas streets” behind it.

. . .

In the current budget, city officials allocated $2 million for acquisitions in the Wards Corner area.

. . .

In Wards Corner, the city is looking to clean up the Denby Park area. The city has finished its negotiations, but a deal has not been completed, said Councilman Andy Protogyrou. He declined to comment further because of the “sensitivity of the process.”

Winn said city officials want to further reduce housing density in the area by targeting sites with apartment buildings. Last year, seven buildings in the 300 block of San Antonio Blvd. were torn down on property the city acquired for $2.7 million.


Pilot editorial writer, Michelle Washington, pushes for Denby Park renaissance

October 21, 2012

Virginian-Pilot editorial writer, Michelle Washington, wrote an article about the continuing crime in Denby Park and the KaBoom! park that is so crime ridden that it is considered by some to be unsafe for their children.  Read the article here.

But they [LaCrystal Locks and Melissa Torbert] are not willing to accept a Denby Park without a place for kids to play. They focus on a future when the renaissance blooming near them at Wards Corner and further up Little Creek at the Walmart shopping center finally engulfs the streets named for Texas cities that evoke the opposite of its wide open spaces.

When that day comes, they hope Denby Park can once again host a playground, a real park with plenty of green fields for little ones to run, picnic tables for watching parents, and yes, a brightly colored jungle gym.

Despite all of the great news lately about the redevelopment of Wards Corner, we must continue to focus on the substandard housing in Denby Park that breeds and attracts crime.  That is why the recommendation of the Wards Corner Taskforce continues to be that the City Manager purchase and demolish more of the apartments in the 300 blocks of E. Little Creek Road, Fort Worth, and San Antonio.

Cottage Road Park splits from Oakdale Farms/Denby Park Civic League

September 20, 2012
Boundaries of Cottage Road Park

Boundaries of Cottage Road Park Civic League

For years Oakdale Farms, Denby Park, and Cottage Row Park have shared a civic league aptly titled “Oakdale Farms/Denby Park/Cottage Row Park Civic League” accordingly to the city.  It appears that a recent disagreement between the combined civic league and residents in the Cottage Road Park area about a proposed rezoning has resulted in a new civic league – Cottage Road Park Civic League.

The disagreement was over the proposed rezoning of 7482 Wellington Road which is to the rear of the old Speedy Gonzalez on Tidewater Drive.  The proposal was from Cook-Out Restaurant, a North Carolina BBQ chain that would have combined the Speedy Gonzalez property with 7482 Wellington Road.  Cook-Out was proposing a 24 hour double drive-thru store.

The Oakdale Farms/Denby Park/Cottage Row Park Civic League voted in favor of the Cook-Out rezoning but residents on and around Wellington Road objected.  The objections resulted in Cook-Out withdrawing their application for the rezoning and probably looking for a location elsewhere in the city.

Cottage Road Park Civic League’s website states:

Why a Civic League of Our Own?

Last month, the Oakdale Farms/Denby Park/Cottage Row Park Civic League, which had claimed our neighborhood, voted to support the developers of a 24-hour fast food restaurant that would have rezoned residential property on Wellington Road against the voiced opposition of residents. This action would have turned one side of Wellington into the back ends of businesses on Tidewater drive, and also brought unwanted noise, and traffic 24 hours a day. A two-day effort by representatives of our neighborhood garnered enough opposition that the developers withdrew their rezoning request before it could be voted on. During that effort, there was an almost unanimous interest in forming our own civic league to protect against future threats.

The new civic league meets at 7 PM on the first Monday of each month at the Plumbers & Pipefitters Local Union 110 Building, 520 Naval Base Road, Norfolk, Virginia 23505.  Their first meeting is scheduled for October 1, 2012.

%d bloggers like this: